Even picking blackberries can get you thinking about community.
Having realized those overgrown shrubs along the shed were berry bushes a few weeks ago–when the berries were still pearly white but distinctly in the shape of blackberries–we’ve been looking forward to the bounty and hoping it wouldn’t come “in due time” while we were out of town.
Saturday morning, J came in with a half-dozen of black, pudgy berries, and we knew the excitement was upon us. We picked almost a quart of them the first day and since then have gotten about a pint per day. There are hundreds still back there.
Community comes in when you start researching the care and pruning of blackberry bushes. You learn that those new shoots won’t bear any fruit; only two-year-old growth produces berries. So all these berries that we’re picking over the next few weeks are hanging surprisingly tightly to shoots that were brand new two years ago.
Two years ago, our house was still occupied by Mrs. H and her daughter. The neighbors hadn’t moved in yet. We hadn’t yet arrived in central Kentucky.
You learn that in the early spring, you should trim all of the branches back to approx. 2 feet in order to get the highest berry yield on the 2-year-old branches.
Next spring, who will be living with us? Who will wait expectantly as the berries arrive on the scene, first white, and then slowly morphing into pink, red, maroon, and purply black? Next summer, who will be sharing our blackberry cobbler or fresh berries on our morning cereal?
Can’t wait to find out.